Today in Palestine: Israeli forces hold ambulance w/ Palestinian crash survivors at checkpoint for 1/2 hour

Israeli forces hold ambulance w/ Palestinian crash survivors at checkpoint for 1/2 hour

from Mondoweiss by Kate

 and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Palestinian residents of Silwan suffer under the City of David settlement ‘improvement’ program
[with photos] Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Aug — Israeli developers overseeing the “Improvement of the City of David settlement” project in Silwan are engaging in underhanded retaliation to the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling that an important part of  the construction project is illegal. Those punished are the residents of Silwan themselves. Israeli construction crews have taken to working on the streets of Silwan themselves, leaving gaping holes in the roads, a serious safety issue for residents. Many children, women and elderly people have already been injured when falling into the holes, and indeed several cars have crashed as a result … The “Improvement” project is of benefit only to the settlement movement in Silwan and the associated tourism industry. The Municipality has a strong working relationship with settlement association Elad, a relationship that translates into unbridled support for the settlement enterprise in the village.
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The shooting of Ahmed al-Qaraeen: two years on
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Aug  — Two years have passed since the shooting of Wadi Hilweh resident Ahmed al-Qaraeen. Qaraeen was shot by an extremist Israeli settler armed with an M-16 machine gun in Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan in both his legs, an attack for which the settler knew he would go unpunished. Ahmed “Abu Wadee‘h” al-Qaraeen continues to walk with crutches to this day, and lacks the strength for normal mobility. Qaraeen’s injuries have led to the loss of work and the ability to support himself
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Israel to compensate contractor for canceling plan to build West Bank settlement
Haaretz 8 Aug — The state must compensate a contractor to the tune of almost NIS 5 million, plus alternate lands, because it canceled a plan to build a West Bank settlement and transferred the land to the Palestinian Authority. The Ramat Kidron project was conceived three decades ago, when Menachem Begin’s government decided to build a ring of settlements east of Jerusalem that would sever the capital from the West Bank. As part of this program, the government authorized the establishment of Ramat Kidron in July 1981.
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Conflict over religious sites in Jerusalem / Archaeology

Jewish settlers storm the Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 8 Aug — Tension is running high in the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem after Jewish settlers stormed and roamed the plazas of the holy site at the early morning hours on Monday. The Aqsa guards said that Israeli occupation police escorted the groups of settlers who were roaming the mosque in provocative tours. They said that the policemen were barricading the settlers in face of the angry Muslim worshippers, who were preparing to confront the settlers. Israeli policemen and special forces broke into the holy site on Sunday night and forced out worshippers for the third straight night.
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Israeli police remove worshipers from Al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israeli police entered the Jerusalem compound housing Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday evening and forcibly removed worshipers, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Israeli police forces raided the Haram Ash-Sharif complex after the Tarawih, the additional extended prayers performed during the holy month of Ramadan after the last obligatory prayer, Ma‘an’s reporter said. The police removed from the site a group of around 30 people, who were spending a special time of seclusion in the area where the mosque and Dome of the Rock stand, as part of Ramadan devotion. They had at first refused to leave, the correspondent said, as they wanted to prevent further raids by right-wing Israelis on the compound, which is revered as the third holiest site in Islam. On Friday night, a group of right-wing Israelis had entered the Haram Ash-Sharif where they clashed with local youth.
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IOA closes shops in Qatanin market
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 8 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) ordered the closure of all shops in Qatanin (textile) market in occupied Jerusalem on Monday.  The Israeli police ordered the closure to facilitate influx of Jewish settlers who plan to perform religious rituals to mark the so-called “Destruction of the Temple” anniversary. The shop-owners said that they were told by the police to close their shops from 5pm to midnight Monday. They said that the IOA closes their market once each month to allow for similar rituals by the settlers.
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Top Israeli archaeologists contest Jewish ties to Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 8 Aug — Top Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein has denied the existence of Jewish roots in the city of Jerusalem, contrary to Israel’s claims that have prompted continued Judaization of the city. Finkelstein, a professor at Tel Aviv University, said Jewish archaeologists have failed to unearth historic sites to support some of the stories in the Torah. Among those stories are the Jewish Exodus, the forty-year wandering in the Sinai desert, and Joshua’s victory over the Canaanites. He also said there was no archaeological evidence that concludes that the alleged Temple of Solomon ever existed.
For his part, Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University Raphael Greenberg said that the Israelis should have found something after digging for six weeks in the City of David in East Jerusalem’s Silwan district, but have found nothing in two years of continuous excavations.
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Israeli archaeologists present Roman artifacts found in Jerusalem
Haaretz 8 Aug — Archaeologists say artifacts discovered in an ancient drainage tunnel under Jerusalem are left over from war 2,000 years ago. On Monday archaeologists presented a Roman legionnaire’s sword and sheath found in the tunnel late last month. They believe it dates to around 70 C.E., when Rome put down a Jewish revolt, razing the second biblical Jewish Temple and much of the city … The newly excavated tunnel is part of a growing network of subterranean passages under the city.
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Report: Israeli security arrest 2 settlers accused of arson
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israeli security forces arrested two settlers on Sunday accused of violence against Palestinian communities, Israeli news site Walla reported. Both men, aged 16 and 22, were from the notoriously hard-line Yitzhar settlement near Nablus. The Israeli Shin Bet, or internal security service, suspect that the two settlers may be linked to a string of attacks on Palestinian mosques in the West Bank, the Israeli news site added. An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were inaccuracies in the event as reported by Walla, noting that one man was arrested near Tel Aviv.
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Israeli forces

Witnesses: Ambulance held up at checkpoint after fatal crash
NABLUS (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces delayed an ambulance treating victims of a car crash in which a 13-year-old girl died, witnesses told Ma’an. Anhar Sandouk died at the scene of an accident near Zatara checkpoint south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, medics said. Four others, including Anhar’s parents, were injured in the crash. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli forces held the Palestinian ambulance at Zatara checkpoint for 30 minutes … An Israeli military spokesman said he would look into the incident. The family, from Tulkarem, was traveling to an Iftar celebration, the traditional evening meal to break the daytime fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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Israeli army invades Nabi Saleh
IMEMC 8 Aug — Reports from Tamimi Press indicate that Sunday evening the Israeli army invaded the Palestinian town of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. They fired live ammunition and gas bombs and clashed with local youth. The Israeli forces were described as “firing ammo and gas canisters indiscriminately on homes.” … In addition to the soldier attacks, Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement Halamish attacked cars on the main road of Nabi Saleh. No reason or justification for the Israeli invasion has been given, and there are no confirmed reports of any injuries yet. Nabi Saleh has been attacked many times in recent weeks by settlers and the Israeli army. 4-minute VIDEO from Nabi Saleh 7 August
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Israeli forces reopen road connecting villages to Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — A Nablus thoroughfare was reopened by Israeli forces on Monday after a 9-year closure, a Nablus governorate spokesman said. The road to An-Naqura village, north of Nablus, was closed by Israeli forces in 2002 … Farmers with land on either side of the road were blocked from accessing their property, he said, and would now be allowed access.
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Gaza fishermen refuse return of confiscated ships stripped of motors, equipment
EI blog 7 Aug — After extensive correspondence between Palestinian human rights groups and the Israeli authorities, Israel agreed to return several fishing vessels confiscated off the coast of Gaza. On 2 August, Israel brought the stolen ships to the Karem Abu Salem crossing with Gaza to return the ships to their owners. However, the boats had been stripped of their motors and fishing equipment; in some cases the missing equipment was worth thousands of dollars. Israel also attempted to charge the boat owners for transportation fees to the Karem Abu Salem crossing — therefore the Palestinian fishermen refused the Israeli receipts for their vessels and returned to Gaza without their ships. The Palestinian rights groups Adalah and Al Mezan released a statement on 4 August explaining that the returned boats had been confiscated from eight fishermen over the course of 18 months.
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Medicine crisis mounts in the Gaza Strip
GAZA (PIC) 8 Aug — The medicine crisis in the Gaza Strip announced by the Health Ministry in early June has continued to mount amid accusations that the West Bank health ministry has been withholding medicines Gaza is entitled to. Officials in Gaza say they have yet to see their due 40 percent cut of the medicines provided to the split Palestinian territories by the World Bank. Among the greatest affected by the shortage are kidney patients, cancer patients, children, and patients awaiting surgery.
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Islamic Jihad brigades claim fired on Israeli forces
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Islamic Jihad’s military wing said Monday it had fired on Israeli military vehicles near the eastern Gaza City neighborhood Ash-Shuja‘iyeh overnight, whom it said were bulldozing Palestinian farm land. The Al-Quds brigades said in a statement that they launched three mortar shells at vehicles in the east of the district which abuts Israel’s border fence, adding that it was in “response to the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people in Gaza.” An Israeli military spokeswoman said “this is just rumors … it’s not true.”
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Fire from Gaza intensifies as three mortars hit southern Israel
Haaretz 8 Aug — Three mortar shells fell Sunday night in Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, causing damage to a fence. No injuries were reported.
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Rafah crossing open Monday for end of July, early August applicants
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — The Ministry of Interior in Gaza said Sunday that travel via the Rafah crossing on Monday will only be for passengers who registered to travel on July 31 and August 2. The ministry instructed travelers registered for July 31 to proceed to Abu Yousef An-Najjar hall in the southern city of Khan Younis at 6.00.a.m., while passengers registered for August 2 should arrive at 8.00.a.m. Gaza residents must register with the Ministry of Interior if they want to travel via the Rafah crossing and a visit can take months to process due to the high number of applicants.
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Video: Gaza women join struggling job market
PressTV 8 Aug — In this small workshop in Nusirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, this lady broke the traditional taboo in the Palestinian society in besieged Gaza. Using electrical machines and tools to make wooden items, the creative mother enjoys her job, working in silence to shape unique artistic works. 40-year old Amal Abu Raqeeq is Gaza’s first and only female carpenter, her hobby has become a profession through which she earns a living.
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Video: Palestinian artist uses sands to show cultural heritage
PressTV Aug — Sand art has become more popular in recent years but in Gaza artists use this unique art to decorate houses.
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‘Fanoos’ lights up Gaza Ramadan 
Gaza (GulfNews) 8 Aug — Two carpenters from Gaza have created what they claim to be the world’s largest ‘Fanoos’, or lantern. Tinkering away at a tiny workshop that barely fits them both, Mustafa Masoud, 29, and Montaser Masoud, 17, designed and built the lantern — an emblem associated with Ramadan and considered to be a part of the holy month’s traditions. Merging Islamic traditions with modern art, the duo wanted to create in hope-starved Gaza, what they say is the biggest lantern in the world.
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Detainees’ parents accused of smuggling cellphones
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israeli authorities have banned parents from visiting their detained children over suspicions they smuggled cell phones into the jail during visits, a detainees’ center reported. Detainees at Shatta prison in Israel said their parents had brought them books but Israeli guards suspected the books concealed cell phones. The prisoners’ parents have been banned from visiting the prison for up to seventeen years, the center said, adding that the relatives denied all accusations of smuggling.
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IOA bans families from visiting their sons jailed in 1948 occupied lands
NABLUS (PIC) 8 Aug — …In a separate incident, the family of Fatima Takatiqa, a 72-year old mother from Beit Fajar town south of Bethlehem city, said the IOA prevents her from entering the occupied city of Jerusalem to receive medical treatment because of the security ban imposed on some prisoners and their families. Fatima is the mother of prisoner Mohamed Takatiqa who has been in jail since 1993 and is serving four life sentences on a charge of his affiliation with Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. The aged mother suffers from serious lung problems and tried hard to get permission to receive treatment in Al-Maqased hospital, but to no avail.
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Wife of political prisoner detained in Al-Khalil
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 8 Aug — Security services in Al-Khalil summoned the wife of one of its prisoners on Sunday amid a continued arrest spree in the West Bank. Sources close to the prisoner’s family said she was questioned for five hours about a previous ten-year sentence her husband spent in Israeli custody. She was also questioned about taking part in a sit-in protesting political detention in the West Bank as well as a speech given by her son during the event, the sources said. During the interrogation, she was threatened with arrest and physical assault … The same security agency detained another political prisoner’s wife for four hours during a prison visit just a week ago.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority intelligence agency has declared its refusal to release four men despite rulings for their release by the civil courts in Al-Khalil, sources close to the men have said.
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Company targeted by boycott campaign announces losses
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — A French multinational company at the center of a global boycott campaign announced major financial losses on Thursday, a statement from Palestinian civil society groups said Monday. “Veolia is paying the price for its involvement in Israel’s policies of occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people,” said Jamal Jumaa, coordinator of the Stop the Wall campaign.
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Palestinian killed in Syria
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — A young Palestinian died early Monday morning in Syria’s Hama refugee camp, bringing to six the number of Palestinians killed in Syria in a week, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
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AG reverses gender-biased student elections clause
Ynet 8 Aug — Yehuda Weinstein intervenes in haredi college’s student union elections due to gender-based code that leaves women out of race
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Political / Diplomatic / International news

Unity committees to tackle reconciliation issues
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Fatah parliamentary deputy Ashraf Jomah said Monday that four committees would begin work next week on outstanding areas in the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Jomah told Ma‘an that the committees would tackle prisoners, passports, social reconciliation and the institutions shut down in Gaza and the West Bank following the 2007 infighting that divided the Palestinian territories under separate governments.
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Resheq: Our meeting with Fatah delegation in Cairo positive
CAIRO (PIC) 8 Aug — Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq said there was a positive atmosphere during the meeting between Hamas and Fatah delegations in Cairo on Sunday. Resheq stated yesterday in Cairo that the delegations agreed on a number of points on the agenda of their meeting, including the issues of political arrest and passport issuing … The official also said the parties agreed on holding, at the invitation of Egypt, two meetings in Gaza and the West Bank to discuss the remaining issues.
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Ministers divided over September threat
Ynet 8 Aug — Special eight-minister forum discordant over possible implications of Palestinian statehood bid — Vice Premier and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon said on Monday that he does not share Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ominous predictions of unprecedented violence come September. “The Palestinians’ options are very limited,” Yaalon said in reference to the Palestinians’ planned UN bid for statehood. “In all likelihood, the only thing that will happen in September is that it will be followed by October.”
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Sri Lanka supports Palestinian plan to seek UN recognition
COLOMBO (WAFA) 8 Aug – Sri Lanka Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gamini Peiris, Monday affirmed his country’s support of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) intention to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state in September.
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EU diplomats: Israel’s national security adviser reprimanded us over our critical policy
Haaretz 8 Aug — European diplomats have called National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror aggressive and arrogant for “reprimanding” EU countries for their policies toward Israel, during what was supposed to be a routine briefing … “He was aggressive, contemptuous and arrogant,” one of the ambassadors told Haaretz. “Some of the ambassadors were genuinely traumatized.”
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Israeli soldiers cross into Lebanon
PressTV 8 Aug — Israeli troops crossed the UN-drawn Blue Line and entered the southern village of Kfar Shouba on Monday, moving 150 meters into Lebanon, a Press TV correspondent reported. According to Lebanese sources, the 12 Israeli soldiers left the Lebanese territory after 30 minutes. The violation of Lebanon’s airspace, territorial waters, and border by the Israeli Military occurs on an almost daily basis. Earlier this month, Beirut submitted a complaint to the United Nations Security Council over Israel’s violation of the country’s sovereignty.
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Israel deputy PM: Turkey ‘rude’ to demand apology
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israel’s deputy prime minister on Monday described as “rude” Turkey’s demand that Israel apologize for the death of nine Turkish nationals killed in last year’s raid on a Gaza bound aid flotilla, Israeli media said. Speaking to Israeli Radio, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said “there was a provocation here that the Turkish government is also responsible for.”
“It wasn’t our side that spoiled relations, and I expect they will not [restore diplomatic relations] even after the apology,” Yaalon told the radio station, according to Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.
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Report: Israel wages cyber war on Iran
LONDON (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — Israel has set up a cyber command center in a military defense unit in order to wage cyber war on Iran, according to a report in the British weekly The Sunday Times. The newspaper quoted a defense source saying Israel’s cyber targets in Iran included the military nuclear program and military establishment, as well as civilian infrastructure. “Attacking both, we hope, will cripple the entire country’s cyberspace,” the sources told The Sunday Times.
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British minister condemns Israel settlement construction in Jerusalem
MEMO 8 Aug — Britain’s minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, has condemned the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s announcement approving the construction of over 900 new housing units in the settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim) in Jerusalem.
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Japan condemns Israeli settlement plans
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 Aug — The Japanese government expressed its “disappointment” on Monday at recent Israeli plans to build 900 homes in Har Homa settlement, a statement said. “The Government of Japan does not recognize any act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders, and Israeli settlement activities should be fully frozen…”
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Chinese military chief to visit Israel
Ynet 8 Aug — The Chinese military’s chief of staff will visit Israel next week for the first time, the Israeli military said Monday, in what may signal a renewed warming of ties between the Jewish state and Beijing. Chen Bingde will be a guest of the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the military said.
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Other news

Video: Palestinian banker hires women to win client trust
Bloomberg 8 Aug — Bloomberg’s Simon Clark reports on the gender-focused recruitment strategy at Bank of Palestine Plc and its impact on the company’s financial performance.
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Video: ‘War spending wears out Israeli economy’
PressTV 8 Aug — “The problem with the Israeli society is that the government spends a lot of its budget, a lot of its money, on military spending,” Mukhaimer Abu Seada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, told Press TV on Sunday. “In addition to that, the government poured millions of US dollars in expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem instead of spending that money on the Israeli population and the Israeli citizens,” he added.
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Knesset panel denies defense ministry request for NIS 620m increase
Haaretz 8 Aug — The defense budget will not be getting the NIS 620 million increase requested by the Defense Ministry, after it emerged at a Knesset meeting yesterday that the ministry was planning to pay off debts with the money, rather than use it for army units as requested.
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Arab media calls social protests ‘Israeli Spring’
Haaretz 8 Aug — Many Arabic-language papers compare local struggle to the Arab world’s recent revolutions and boast that Israel is following in their footsteps.
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Social protest: ‘This is why we left Israel’
Ynet 8 Aug — Dozens of Israelis gather in Los Angeles park in show of solidarity with social protesters, claim cost of living led them to leave Israel
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Libyans cherish shared history with Jews
AFP 8 Aug — Every hamlet around Yafran bears mark of Jews, who arrived in country 2,300 years ago and, until their departure soon after Israel’s creation in 1948, constituted half of city’s population. ‘All I know is that we used to live together and that there were no problems,’ says local
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Throng of US congressmen to visit Holy Land in next few weeks
PNN 8 Aug — Over the next three weeks during the US Congress’s summer recess, 81 congressman, some 20 percent of the US House of Representatives, will visit Israel. A group of 26 Democrats plan to arrive on Monday. Two Republican delegations, totaling 55 members, will then follow the Democratic one. Freshman congressman will make up most of the number, with half of the freshman Republicans voted into office in 2010, 47 members, departing for Israel … The congressmen will visit both Israel and the West Bank, and plan to meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
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Analysis / Opinion

Jamal Juma‘: PA ‘killing popular resistance’ / Ida Audeh
EI 8 Aug — Few Palestinians are as closely identified with the struggle against Israel’s wall in the West Bank as Jamal Juma’. The coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign since its establishment in 2002, Juma’ has suffered because of his political activities … Juma‘ spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Ida Audeh about the dearth of popular resistance in areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, the UN statehood bid and the role of the Palestinian diaspora in national liberation.
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New book exposes brutal treatment of Palestinian prisoners / Asa Winstanley
EI 5 Aug —Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel is a collection of essays from Pluto Press edited byAbeer Baker and Anat Matar. The contributors focus on different aspects of Israel’s system of political prisons. It is rare for such an anthology to be of such consistently high quality. Quite often essay collections can be a mixed bag but Threat is rarely less than interesting. Palestinian prisoners and the solidarity movements of their families and supporters have long been emblematic in the Palestinian liberation struggle. So the book is an important and welcome attempt to educate English-speakers on this neglected topic. Consider, for example, this astonishing statistic: “almost half of all the prisoners held by the Israeli prison system are Palestinians who have been sent to prison by the military courts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)”
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